We have all seen them, the compilations of animals doing things that amuse us. However I have been seeing a lot of videos posted lately that unfortunately fill me with dread, shock and worry. One particularly caught my interest lately as it was posted by a well known site called 'Huffpost' and it was entitled 'cats and dogs that hate having kisses'. It was considered a comedy video but as I watched I felt my stomach churn.
In it, all I could see was a large collection of cats and dogs having their space invaded and trying to let their people know they didn't like it.... and the people laughing! This is one of the major problems with society in general is that we expect dogs and cats to respect our behaviours, to endure our cuddles and kisses which are incredibly intimate, and are not natural behaviours that our pets enjoy. As we have our own personal space and sometimes we prefer not to get hugged etc by people, it is the same for cats and dogs, but the problem is when we loom over our pets or invade their space we are actually being a threat, and if our animals do not completely trust us we end up with a compilation of what are considered 'funny' behaviours.
In this particular video I watched as cats batted their paws at peoples faces or tried to back away or avoid them as they went in for a kiss. I saw the same happen with dogs, but what scared me more was that some of the dogs were actively verbalising their dislike by growling and showing their teeth and the people still continued to move in for kisses some even restraining them! Most animals already see restraint as threatening. One that really got me angry was a woman sharply going in for a kiss with a puppy and the puppy jerking away, snarling and yapping. All of these dogs were obviously showing a severe dislike of the behaviour. That puppy could go on to be aggressive to people putting their faces close to it, really not a good idea as children have a habit of doing this, especially as they are smaller and therefore naturally closer to a dogs face. What irked me was I couldn't understand why these people continued to annoy and aggravate their beloved pets for a laugh. All I can say is.. one of these days a dog or cat is going to attack and you will only have yourselves to blame. This is NOT funny. You are potentially causing a dangerous situation to occur and no doubt the dog will then be to blame.
This is why I talk about respecting your dog, understanding it's body language. Respect is the key to a harmonious relationship. If my three young children can learn how to recognise a dog is unhappy and respect that, then so can grown adults. Please stop doing this to your animals even if you find it amusing, I can assure you they do not!
Here is a link to the offending video. You can spot so many warning behaviours its incredibly disturbing
Dog Trainer, animal lover, artist and photographer